How to Apply the Black Friday Mindset to Your B2B Marketing Campaign
Everyone loves a good deal, which explains our infatuation with this season’s most treasured sale.
Black Friday has long been synonymous with the frenzy of unbeatable retail discounts for early-morning shoppers after the Thanksgiving leftovers have been put away. Shoppers not only love the deals associated with Black Friday—they’ve also come to expect them.
While Black Friday has typically been considered a strictly B2C practice, its potential in the B2B space is often overlooked. That ubiquitous draw toward an exclusive offer and expectation to find one at the mere mention of Black Friday is exactly why you can make it work for B2B, too. By understanding the psychology behind the annual shopping holiday and activating strategic campaigns that capture the urgency and excitement around it, B2B marketers can capitalize on the idea of Black Friday to maximize their sales and engagement.
Understanding the Black Friday Psychology
Black Friday has become a cultural phenomenon, driven by the allure of limited-time deals and discounts. The psychology behind Black Friday is based on the principles of scarcity and urgency. Consumers are motivated to make purchases during this time because they believe they will miss out on significant savings if they don’t act quickly. Black Friday sales are designed to entice buyers and lead them to spend money—even if they’re not looking to buy anything in particular.
While complex B2B purchases are certainly done more deliberately and with more time and research, the psychological mindset—or rather “FOMO”—of Black Friday still applies. B2B buyers also respond positively to an exclusive or limited-time offer when it aligns with their business needs.
Where Black Friday Meets B2B
When thinking about how to apply the Black Friday mindset to B2B marketing, it’s important to keep a few things in mind:
- It’s no longer limited to one day of sales. Increased competition and the growth of ecommerce have dramatically altered Black Friday. It’s no longer just one day of sales—it’s a whole season. Retailers begin pumping out deals as early as Halloween and they’re not just limited to in-store offerings, either; most of the shopping actually gets done online.
- More millennial buying committee members. Seventy-three percent of B2B buyers are millennials and one-third report that they are the sole decision-maker for their department. These decision-makers are not only more digitally savvy and crave more B2C buying experiences, but they also grew up alongside Black Friday’s rise in popularity. For them, Black Friday is less of a sales ploy than it is a nostalgic feeling you can use for their B2B buying decisions.
- B2B buyers are also B2C consumers. Nearly every adult knows what Black Friday is. Leverage this familiarity during a time when they’re most likely on the hunt for deals. At the same time, capitalize on the fact that people typically don’t expect a B2B brand to promote Black Friday deals. Doing so will set you apart from the competition.
The best way to approach a Black Friday B2B marketing campaign is by thinking out of the box. Unlike its B2C counterpart, your promotion doesn’t necessarily need to include a steep discount. Remember: the philosophy of Black Friday is less about the sale and more about the fear of missing out. There are other ways to leverage the concept of Black Friday for B2B purchases and engage buyers, such as:
- Allowing limited-time access to a previously gated whitepaper or eBook
- Hosting an exclusive webinar or virtual event to top prospects
- Launching new content covering a timely topic (think “use it or lose it” year-end spending or Q1 planning)
Once you’ve determined how to leverage Black Friday in your B2B marketing, the next step is to determine which channels to use to promote it. Here, a unified, multi-channel ABM approach is a great way to engage your target audience by surrounding them with this Black Friday messaging through the media channels they visit most. Keep in mind that Black Friday deals are probably already on their mind; here, you are simply using that familiarity to get them to progress through the buyer’s journey.
Social media and email are ideal channels to leverage for a Black Friday promotion. LinkedIn presents significant opportunities to engage buying committee members on a site they’re already highly engaged on. Use targeted ads on LinkedIn to promote exclusive content offers during the Black Friday season and customized emails to help further reinforce the offer.
Make the Most of Black Friday Excitement
Black Friday might not be synonymous with B2B buying, but that doesn’t mean you can’t capitalize on the concept in your own B2B marketing efforts. More importantly, have fun with it. When you think out of the box and look at Black Friday as less about deals and more focused on exclusive offerings, the possibilities and B2B applications widen significantly. Using the familiarity and timeliness of Black Friday will help increase awareness for your brand regardless of what you offer.